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US Lawmakers Demand Explanation for $1.7Bn State Department Payment to Iran

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteUS State Department building
US State Department building - Sputnik International
US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said that John Kerry should provide an explanation for the unilateral $1.7 billion payment to Iran following the implementation of the nuclear agreement with Tehran.

A woman walks a snowy path toward the White House in Washington January 25, 2016. The Washington area is digging out from the weekend blizzard - Sputnik International
White House: US Continues National Emergency Over Iran
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Secretary of State John Kerry should provide an explanation for the unilateral $1.7 billion payment to Iran following the implementation of the nuclear agreement with Tehran, US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in a press release.

"The American people deserve to know what the impetus was for agreeing to a settlement of $1.7 billion with Iran after the [Obama] administration released over $100 billion in sanctions relief," the press release stated on Thursday.

Ros-Lehtinen, along with Subcommittee on Terrorism Chairman Ted Poe and 52 other members of the House of Representatives, sent a letter to Kerry seeking clarification on the sequence of events.

Poe called the payment to Tehran, which allegedly settled a disputed claim, deeply concerning.

"Negotiating with Iran as if it were a well-intentioned actor behind closed doors and without even briefing Members of Congress is simply dangerous and irresponsible," Poe maintained.

On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries comprising the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany, signed a nuclear agreement that guarantees the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

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